Insights into Early Marriage and Girls’ Education in Northern Nigeria


  This report, Matan Quarai, is about the inspirational life stories of a group of women hailing from Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno and Yobe states in Northern Nigeria. These women are called “innovators” because of their novel ‘win win’ methods of achieving major life goals – motherhood, higher education, career and leadership. They have demonstrated that compliance with the tenets of tradition cannot become a deterrent to women’s attainment of high levels of education and success in business and the professions. The report is organized in two parts. The first part discusses differences in educational attainment and timing of first marriage between Northern and Southern Nigeria, and some notable changes. It also recounts the research and intervention programme of Action Health Incorporated (AHI) in Northern Nigeria which led to the identification of a sizeable group of married women who had attained higher education after marriage- the innovators. The second part presents summaries of the life stories of innovators and their reflections on the importance of female education.  


Action Health Incorporated



Contact Details

17, Lawal Street, Off Oweh Street Jibowu, Lagos, Tel: 01-7743745 Email: Website:

Year Of Publication